It was midnight and I could not remember the last time I traveled so late in the city. It seemed like at this late hour, the city had taken on a whole new form. All the people who lived on the fringes of the city, out of plain sight during the daylight, walked in the middle of the street now, demanding attention, unafraid with their noses tossed high like the own the city now and maybe they really did, who knew. I felt I was the intruder in their alternate world. I thought knew the underbelly of the city and its ways but never was its beauty and grotesqueness so apparent to me before.
It was the effect of just watching a night show of the newly released UGLY directed by Anurag Kashyap.
This movie is like roadkill, horrifyingly ugly yet impossible to look away from. I watched it amazed, disgusted, and ultimately moved. It brought mixed feelings, seeing my city like that, undeniably messy and chaotic, yet mine.
It was realistic to the point that more than once it felt more like an observation of real life events than cinematic recreation. I felt that I have personally met more than one character in the movie. In particular, Girish Kulkarni as Inspector Jadhav (extreme left), played the part of the Policeman so aptly that I felt like I know him and owe him a few slaps.
In essence, the plot of the movie deals with Rahul (played by TV actor Rahul Bhat) and his estranged and suicidal wife Shalini (played by Tejaswini Kolhapure) who lose their child Kali. The story that unfolds is each character trying to outwit the others in finding Kali and using the situation to suit their own ulterior motives. Each character is involved with the others in some twisted way or another.
From the first minute, the movie swallows you whole into its plot as the story takes us through all the unspeakable by-lanes of the city that we are usually to afraid to go into. It deals with failure and rejection in the form of Rahul’s pitiful attempts at making it big as an Actor, with dejection and hopelessness in Shalini’s lonely captivity in her second husband and Top Cop Shoumik Bose’s house(played by Ronit Roy). It elicits the neglect Kali faces from both her parents and the disturbing revenge drama that Shoumik is playing.
Surveen Chawla plays Rakhi, the item girl sleeping with Rahul and who is married a producer for his money and openly mocks his lack of ‘firmness’ in the bedroom.
She is crazy and hot and the both are completely unrelated.
This movie was also Actor Abir Goswami’s last movie before his sudden and bizarre demise on 31 May 2013 at the age of 37 due to Cardiac Arrest on a treadmill.
The characters are dark and almost Shakespearean in their innate evilness. Love is a myth and sex is currency in the relationships that unfold and these characters are all of us, they are who we are playing our most primitive and selfish selves. Their lives are what our fears and nightmares are made of.
All the actors have delivered a superlative performance and each gives reason enough to love and hate them till we are reeling in confusion. In the end, I found myself rooting for the character I found the most repelling in the beginning and that is evidence of an exquisitely written screenplay.
The last scene of the movie had us stunned and frozen in our seats with the impact.
Like a nightmare but only real.